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San Francisco is leading the charge in striking the balance between local, small businesses and larger chains in our shopping districts. "I think [other big US cities will] all catch up to us," AnMarie Rodgers, Senior Policy Advisor at the SF Planning Department, tells SFBG. "We are a national leader on this and we want to get it right." That being said, the latest amendments to the formula retail regulations have many local policymakers balking at the proposed new threshold to be set at 20 store locations rather than the current 11.
Accusations abound that corrupt politics are playing a role because an increase would allow various local mini-chains like Philz Coffee to expand throughout the city. But the less suspicious believe that a higher threshold would actually make it more likely that other cities can follow San Francisco's lead. "There are lots of conversations going on around the country about how to meet this challenge, and people are watching what San Francisco does," Stacy Mitchell, the senior researcher for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, explains to SFBG. It's a fine line between realistic and totally moot.
· Breaking the chains [San Francisco Bay Guardian]
· International Locations May Change Formula Retail's Equation [Racked SF]
· Mission Bay Needs Stores But Says No To Chains [Racked SF]